Auguste Rodin

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Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)

Nineteenth century French sculptor. Rodin stands at the culmination of the figurative tradition in sculpture, and after him sculptors increasingly turned towards abstraction. However, some of his works like "the thinker" and "the kiss" remain among the most immediately recognisable sculptures in the western artistic tradition. Ironically, neither was ever intended to be a major work - both were expanded details of Rodin's great unfinished work, a great set of cathedral doors depicting scenes from Dante's Inferno in high relief. Indeed, "the thinker" represents the poet Virgil, Dante's guide in the Divine Comedy.

Rodin worked in both marble and bronze. Other notable sculptures by Rodin include "the burghers of Calais", "Caryatid fallen under her stone", "she who once was the beautiful Heaulmiere" (sp?) and his monuments of Victor Hugo and Honore de Balzac.